Tuesday, 22 August 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Simon James Green


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity, along with my friend Lottie, and other bloggers, to interview three YA authors on behalf of Waterstones Deansgate Manchester ahead of their YA Summer Cringefest event. This was my first ever experience of conducting interviews and as someone who wants to progress into journalism and publishing in the distant future, it was a wonderful opportunity to rehearse said skills. Admittedly, I was terrified, but nevertheless, this was such a great chance that I couldn't refuse. Over the course of the next three days, each interview from the event will be going live, and then will be linked back to on this post [Beth Garrod, Stephanie Kate Strohm]. Each of these authors are new to the UK, with their first UK releases occuring in the past year. For now, let's begin with Simon James Green, author of Noah Can't Even, as published by Scholastic. 


Photo by Waterstones - @Teensgate on Twitter

How would you describe your book, Noah Can't Even in five words?
"Mad-cap, coming-of-age, comedy."
Whilst Green abides by this, he notes that he hopes that the novel isn't just a laugh but has more to it than that for readers.


Did you always intend to write?
Originally, Green gained a degree in law from Cambridge University, but said that he ultimately had to choose between a money-spinning career in "big-city law" or something that he loved and knew would be rewarding, and that to him was writing. Following on from deciding not to continue down the path of law, Green started out as a director. He's worked in the West End, and at plays such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Writing wasn't always the intention for a career, but it has become his destination.


Did you always intend to write for teenagers?
Always enjoyed writing about teenagers and coming-of-age situations. He finds that coming of age novels are particularly interesting due to the fact that young adulthood as a life-stage is about exploring identity and working out who we are. It's a time of "bad stuff, but also hope" and to him is refreshing write.


What was your journey to publishing like?
Overall, it took five years to write Noah Can't Even. But after the long process of writing, things quickened dramatically in the process of publication. Green entered the Undiscovered Voices compteittion, and the first two chapters of Noah Can't Even ended up being published in the Undiscovered Voices anthology of writers. 


What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Write the thing that you love because you need to be 100% behind it. "It's a long slog," so you need to enjoy what you're working on and have the motivation to move it forward. Additionally, get feedback. Green remarked that whilst it was expensive, submitting his novel to a freelance editor before sending to publishing houses was the most rewarding and beneficial thing he could have done during the process of writing Noah Can't Even, because he got to see where he was going wrong and where he could change things to improve the novel.


Hogwarts House?
Admittedly, the largest portion of the interview was dominated by a Harry Potter discussion, which is inevitable when it comes to me, but it was down to the fact that Green confirms that he has never read or watched anything from the Harry Potter series. But, it has been suggested to him that he would be a Slytherin, including by the author Beth Garrod, who was also on this tour. UPDATE: Since the interivew, Simon James Green finally went and created a Pottermore account, to be sorted into Ravenclaw.

Thanks so much to Teensgate at Waterstones Deansgate for the opportunity, and of course, to Simon, for letting me interview him. Click here to find out more about Noah Can't Even, and the interviewing adventures continue tomorrow with Beth Garrod! 

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